a new low in topical enlightenment

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Issue #60 (August 25, 2010)

Los Angeles Hill Country, Verdugo Mountains, Burbank

Photo by Chris Collins

From the London Desk of Steve Beeho...

Ecstatic Peace Library have some great books in the works, including Front Row Center, a collection of Raymond Pettibon's more music-related work and Dave Markey and Jordan Schwartz's document of early 80s southern California hardcore, Party With Me Punker.


An epic John Brannon interview in the Metro Times on Negative Approach/Laughing Hyenas/Easy Action and how "Every band I've started, they might not get it at first but they come around."


Black Randy and the Metrosquad - “I Slept in an Arcade” from Ladies and Gentlemen... the Fabulous Stains (1982).

And a mini-documentary which wasn't included on the DVD release for some unfathomable reason:

Part 1
Part 2


"Anarchy, Peace and Litigated: A Brief History of Crass" from Vice (!) also documents how their back catalogue ended up in legal limbo for years after ideological squabbles scuppered a planned series of remasters... although seemingly out of nowhere, since this piece was published, the first expanded re-master has appeared with zero fanfare so I guess this means that anarchy has finally triumphed over socialism. 


The chapter on SST Records and progressive punk which was criminally cut by the publishers of the Penguin US edition of Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up and Start Again has been added to the Soft Skull US edition of its equally juicy companion piece, Totally Wired. Simon will be at Book Soup in LA Sept 16.


Two separate evocative accounts of the same Stooges show in Ohio, Jan. 1974 opening for Slade:

Doug Sheppard’s interview of Chris Yarmock and Harvey Gold at I-94 Bar on the gig.

Miriam Linna on same at kicksville66.


Dominic Sandbrook has become quite ubiquitous here lately but luckily he's worth reading and listening to. He's published two great social histories of Britain in the 50s and 60s (Never Had It So Good, and White Heat) and he appears to be refreshingly unaligned, so that his by-line can appear in the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman. His counter-factual column there is particularly good.

Sandbrook’s Radio 4 Nixon revisionism.

Kadayawan Festival
Photographs and explication by Rodilla Tumanda

The term "Kadayawan" is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw”, a warm and friendly greeting used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable. Mandaya is one of the ethnic tribes in Davao province. We in the city do not really use that term in our daily conversation.

Long time ago, Davao’s ethnic tribes residing at the foot of Mount Apo would converge during a bountiful harvest. This ritual serves as their thanksgiving to the gods particularly to the “Manama” (the Supreme Being)...

Kadayan festival also means good harvest of fruits. We have a lot of fruits during August and September compared to the other months of the year. Davao City is a place in our country where we don't run out of delicious fruits, really mouth watering fruits. Like mangoes, the famous durian, lanzones, rambutan, pomelo, bananas, pineapple, & more...

Breakdown 2010

The Last Upland Breakdown Lowdown
by Joe Carducci

We had great weather on Saturday which always means good attendance as Centennial, Wyoming is a tri-state daytripper destination for anyone wanting to get out of the front range crowds or great plains heat or just up into the mountains. Tourists outside the area tend to think Yellowstone at the other end of the state so we don’t often see them, which is fine by us as those grizzlies need feeding. But those in the know streamed into the Beartree’s side-yard all afternoon and evening to fill in around the music diehards who’ve long known the Upland Breakdown is the mark of quality.

Upland Records was begun as an imprint of O&O Records which the Blasting Room Studio in nearby Fort Collins started in 1998 when they began to scheme to get some of the spec recordings they believed in released. Wretch Like Me and Chad Price’s side-band Drag the River were the first sessions for release -- Wretch on O&O, Drag the River on Upland. Chad’s job-1 was vocalist for All -- Bill Stevenson’s Descendents line-up when Milo wasn’t available. The rest of Upland’s roster took shape easily enough with David Lightbourne having put his Stop & Listen Boys together in Laramie, and Spot, our old SST compadre now producing his own music and touring from his adopted home in Austin. We also released records by Grandpa’s Ghost, a rural Illinois bent country band.

We started the Upland Breakdown in 2000 at the old Murph-the-Surf’s, then called the Old Centennial Café, and now called the Beartree Tavern. It was perfect as it was possible to move the music inside should the weather turn, which it will on occasion, though I hasten to add that the snow never amounts to much in August. I think the music tended to be better when played indoors on those occasions (Breakdowns 4, 5 & 7) due to something deep inside the musician’s psychology -- fresh air and sunshine just don’t agree with ‘em. And audiences can be somewhat distracted as well, even though the Breakdown was never a three-ring circus in the modern style of music-fest.

As you might imagine Upland Records while still selling catalog, stopped releasing new titles back in the latter days of the Phonograph era and since then the Upland Breakdown has been wholly unburdened with commercial aspiration; rather, we focused on that holy grail of music-fest success, complete plumbing failure. Unfortunately Jill has augmented the drainage capacity just a flush or three ahead of our annual testing of it. Still, thought we had a chance Saturday to go out on a real low note.

Lightbourne and I began talking about Upland Breakdown 11 soon after 10 was over. I spent five months with my parents in Illinois but made a preliminary lineup announcement on March 16 just after I returned to Wyoming. Nothing but the photograph remained of that announcement -- the only shot of Wyoming Hwy 130 facing east I’ve used on any of the flyers which always featured a scene one might see on one’s way out to the Beartree (unless one is some hardcase arrived from over the mountains Saratoga-side). Even Jake & Joe, regulars at Lightbourne’s Buckhorn Sunday Nights, morphed into a five-piece called Oatmeal Stumble by the time the real, corrected announcement went out in late July. I got it out before I was obliged by The Hand of Fate to drive to Portland, Oregon for the Tribute-Memorial concert for David Lightbourne.

Wyoming was well represented at that event at the White Eagle Tavern by many of the players who played with David over the years at the Breakdown, the Buckhorn and elsewhere. And this year for the 11th and final Upland Breakdown it was all Wyoming musicians once again.

[Photos: David Lightbourne checking out the new Beartree Stage Spring 2009, by Joe Carducci. David Lightbourne, Joe Carducci at the old outdoor stage, circa 2009, by Jane Stokes.]

MIKE SAFRAN who helps continue the Buckhorn Sundays that Lightbourne developed opened on Saturday. He tested out the vocal mic on a Dylan song but otherwise presented his elaborate Fahey-like instrumental arrangements of themes Anglo- or Iberian-American.

JEFF DULOZ began on guitar and harmonica and Skip James, then went through his originals after-the-styles of bluesmen old and new.

OATMEAL STUMBLE were sit-down music, mostly original songs about things like outer space in old-timey style. They grew out of a duo Jake & Joe that David thought one of the more skilled graduates of the Buckhorn Sunday school of folk-styles and he looked forward to presenting them at the Breakdown. They’d already grown to a trio at the Buck with Chaz; but Dave would’ve been surprised to see Pryce Taylor of the old Centennial Jug Band on stand-up bass with them; they even had female vocal accompaniment on a few songs courtesy Erin.

BEN SLATER also formerly of the Centennial Jug Band began his set solo on a subtly amplified hollow body. Among his songs he played his arrangement of “Come Back, Corrina” which was a favorite of David’s. Price recognized it and picked up the electric bass for impromptu accompaniment. Then Ben was joined by his rhythm section, Mark and Jascha, and they filled out that early sixties sound nicely.

J SHOGREN SHANGHAI’D played last and had a full five-piece ready to play out the Breakdown for all time. Last time at Breakdown 6, J played an acoustic sit-down set of rocking blues with Birgit Burke (yet another CJB alumna). J’s cranking out records now with a band made up of local luminaries that he leads standing with an f-hole hollow body. J writes his own bluesy tunes and sings them with a distinctive reedy tone. He pulled Dan Tinker out of his studio to play electric bass and Bill McKay out of his bluegrass group to play banjo or mandolin or accordion. Also had Jascha on drums and washboardist/backing singer Mandy.



Here’s who played over the years as best I can remember -- there are slight discrepancies between who played and who was announced and/or appeared on the flyers -- not that we were untogether or anything! But in the all too short passed times, I’d just call up Dave and ask him…

1 - The Stop & Listen Boys, Spot, Drag the River, Grandpa’s Ghost, Michael Hurwitz.
2 - Grandpa’s Ghost, Stop & Listen Boys, John Martz, Maggie Simpson.
3 - Drag the River, Stop & Listen Boys, Leghorn, Mumbletypeg.
4 - Spot, Stop & Listen Boys, Michael Hurwitz, Maggie Simpson, Birgit Burke & John Lyon.
5 - Michael Hurley, David Lightbourne, Spot, Michael Hurwitz, Michael Safran.
6 - Michael Hurwitz, David Lightbourne, Spot, Birgit Burke & J Shogren.
7 - Stop & Listen Boys, Michael Hurley, Josephine Foster, Gary Sisco, The Places, Spot, Michael Hurwitz.
8 - Souled American, Stop & Listen Boys, Michael Hurley, Amy Annelle, Ralph White, Spot.
9 - Stop & Listen Boys, Michael Hurley, Precious Blood, Al Rivers, The Alltunators.
10 - Stop & Listen Boys, Al Rivers, Michael Hurwitz, Black Crow White Crow, Spot.
11 - J Shogren Shanghai’d, Ben Slater, Oatmeal Stumble, Mike Safran, Jeff Duloz.

Stop & Listen Boys, photo by Joe Carducci

Subject: RE: Remembering David Lightbourne

Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 11:20:23 -0600

Hi Michael,

My name is Kendra. I lived in Laramie from 1999-2004. I currently live in Missoula, MT. 
David was one of the first people I met in Laramie. We met at the Buckhorn when I was about 20 or 21 and I was really into music and had a crappy guitar that I couldn't play. My only musical ability was with the sax from high school.

I had kind of given up on guitar after taking lessons from a classical guitarist at UW who was kind of a dick. I would practice for hours and it was never good enough. With David it was awesome. He gave me confidence to play without judging. 

David offered to give me guitar lessons. I spent endless hours in his apartment learning about music. We would set up a half hour lesson and I would be there for at least 3 hours mostly listening to stories. I brought weed and would load a bowl then he would take it and hold the bowl without smoking until his 45 minute story was over and I would be on the edge waiting for him to pass it back. He started a story and it went into so many stories I wouldn't remember where it started until he ended it much later and I would think oh yeah that all ties together.

I loved asking him questions and hearing about different bands. We shared a love for Bob Dylan and he gave me a book, Long Time Coming and a Long Time Gone, about Richard Farina. He told me that is what really happened.

After a few lessons David wanted me to play washboard with The Stop & Listen Boys. I said I didn't know how and he said he could tell by the way I played guitar I had the rhythm to play. He really built my confidence and love for playing music. He got me a washboard and screwed a cowbell onto it for me and away we went. I lived in Centennial for awhile and mostly played there with him and The Stop & Listen Boys. He always invited me to meet musicians passing through--like Michael Hurley.

My sister lives in Laramie now and has been learning from David at the Buckhorn jams. He recently told her he was going to come drag me to the Upland Breakdown to play washboard with him.

I was very saddened when my sister called me with the news. I feel very fortunate to have known David and thank him for getting me started with music---my creative release. I still play guitar and have added the banjo and try to play the mando. If it wasn't for David I likely would have given up playing. I mostly play for my 2 year old and 3 week old baby now. Good thing he taught me tunes like “Shortnin’ Bread”.

My thoughts are with you and your family and David's friends.


From the 8200’ elevation desk of Joe Carducci...

Myself on WHAT-TV’s new series of byte-sized interviews, “In Contact With”. Here I speak of KROQ, Rodney Bingenheimer, and cultural retardation. Filmmaker-musician Jack Hammond promises more of my babble-on soon come.



James Glassman in the WSJ reviews Thomas Geoghegan’s book, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?.

“Instead of rigorous argument, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? offers a meandering stream of consciousness in which Mr. Geoghegan, an admitted nonexpert who spent a couple of months recently in Berlin, details various boring conversations he had with anonymous Germans and Frenchmen he bumped into, drops a few statistics, cites some books and comes to the conclusion that we Americans would lead richer lives if only we adopted European social and economic policy—especially the part about high taxes, lovely benefits and tight restrictions on the decisions that businesses are allowed to make concerning the people who work for them.

Early on, for example, he talks about an American expatriate living in Paris with her French boyfriend, a drummer in a band: ‘I wondered: If she went back to America, what would she do? First, she'd have to get a job. We don't subsidize the arts [the drummer gets state support]. It might be as a cashier. She'd have a no vacation. . . . No health insurance. Second, what if she had a kid? No paid maternity leave. No cornucopia of subsidies. Third, she'd have to pay for school. Unless she threw the child into the public schools. Fourth, no child care. No one to help her. Fifth, her rocker husband would have to work.’

It may be hard for some of us to bemoan America's unwillingness to transfer public money to rock-band drummers. But even the more plausible parts of Europe's subsidy-cornucopia are expensive, and those long vacations carry significant opportunity costs. Besides, universal health insurance and subsidies to rockers don't seem to make people happier.”


John McTernan in the FT, The west can see its future on planet Australia.

“First, climate change. After his 2007 victory Mr Rudd signed the Kyoto protocol. With floods in Queensland, droughts and bushfires in Victoria, Barack Obama in the White House and Copenhagen in the offing, Australia seemed set for a new leading role on the environment. But Mr Abbott’s election – the Liberal party’s fourth leader in under three years – changed that. A climate change sceptic, he has mined middle Australia’s often conflicted feelings on the subject…

Next comes underlying anxiety about threats to Australia’s living standards, expressed most prominently through concerns about migration. Refugees in boats are the symbol, even though the numbers are tiny. The harder question is population growth. Following waves of migration from the UK, southern Europe and south-east Asia, Australia’s population doubled every 40 years during the 20th century. The result is the most urbanised country in the Group of 20, if one in which a mere 20m share a vast continent…

Third, while it has surfaced less directly, there is underlying unease about Australia’s place in the world. This stems from its economic boom, driven by exporting minerals to Asia, and China. China’s growth is obviously an economic boon, but is also seen as a long-term threat to Australian industry, and a deeper psychological challenge to ordinary Australians’ sense of themselves. Re-orienting their country as an Asia-Pacific nation was hard enough, but seeing themselves as providing the feedstock for Indian and Chinese growth is profoundly discomfiting.”


Roger Meiners in the WSJ, "Talking Green in Yellowstone".

“The fish hatchery uses about 34,000 kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity annually. At 10 cents per kwh, that means a bill of $3,400. The solar panels, we are assured, will generate 75% of the hatchery's electricity, at zero cents per kwh. Assuming so, the annual electric bill will fall by $2,550. Applying that sum to the cost, the recovery period for the solar panels (ignoring interest rates) is 70 years.

Solar panel experts say that panels have about a 25-year life, but the latest models, which no doubt are used in Ennis, may have a 40-year life. Taking that estimate, the panels leave us in the financial dark by 30 years. The rate of return looks like Las Vegas housing the past couple years. But since the feds are footing the bill, no one will walk away from this turkey.”


Drew Hinshaw in the CSM, "Cement may pave Africa’s road tot eh future, but will China undercut that, too?"


AP: More Pryor wild horses could get fertility control.


Justin Martin in the CSM, "Sexual Harrassment in Egypt: Why Men Blame Women".


On “Charlie Rose” last Wednesday, George Packer, plugging his NYer piece, “The Empty Chamber”, with Al Hunt and William Cohen, refers to the Senate’s problem throughout his adult life -- since 1979, in other words. They all agreed that Dole, Mitchell and all, did a bang-up job in the good old golden years of the eighties and nineties -- oh how we lived and loved and laughed in the eighties and nineties... In other words, our governmental predicament isn’t about unforeseen costs of the New Deal, the Cold War, the Great Society, or the War on Terror, or our New Class’s demand for a larger and larger public sector with which to absorb larger and larger graduating classes of soft-science administrators and human resource counselors and managers to be paid for by a slowly overwhelmed, zombified wealth-creating private sector. No, what’s happening is about evil, I suppose. In other words, the clean motived green future will be sustained by the presumed unsolvable harnessed greed of the subhumans. In more other words our Vampire Leviathan will keep formerly free enterprises in a state of suspended-animation, they will linger as slowed-down hooked-up Zombies whose life-force is drained as fast as they might grow. But George Packer is one of our finest young writers, and he’s very well edited as well.


Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi at americanthinker.com, "Iraq and the Middle Eastern Cold War".

“The Middle Eastern Cold War has manifested itself in recent years in several ways, including the ongoing tension in Lebanon between Saad Hariri's coalition government and pro-Syrian factions like Hezb'allah, the contest between Fatah and Hamas for the Palestinian leadership, and the conflict in Yemen between Iranian-backed Shi'a Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed central government of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

However, the most recent sign of this Cold War could well lie in Iraq as Saudi Arabia and Iran jostle for influence. With the ongoing political stalemate that has created a power vacuum, it is Saudi Arabia's hope that the current Shi'a Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki does not retain his position in power for fear that he will tilt Iraq towards Iran's regional bloc. Meanwhile, Iran not only wishes for him to remain as prime minister, but also hopes for Maliki's State of Law (SOA) coalition and the Sadrist Iraqi National Alliance (INA) to form the backbone of a new government, whereas the U.S. views a coalition between SOA and Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya bloc as the best option.”

Kristianne Backer at qantara.de, MTV Europe VJ moslem convert.


James Seaton in The Weekly Standard reviews The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. It isn’t posted online but it's a worthy three-page update on the ongoing murder-of-literature project.

“Despite its length, the new NATC is most revealing in its omissions, the most significant of which occurs in the title. The NATC claims to deal with ‘theory,’ not with ‘literary theory’ and with ‘criticism,’ not merely ‘literary criticism.’ One cannot help but be impressed by the effrontery expressed by the deletion of the qualifying adjective. The strategic omission of ‘literary’ intimates (without explicitly declaring) that English professors who use the NATC are equipped to provide guidance to all those who employ any sort of theory, presumably including their colleagues in the social sciences, and even in physics and chemistry. Such pretension has not been seen since the heyday of the Hegelian system, which claimed the intellectual authority to give the law to every particular science and discipline, from physics to history and everything in between.”


The BBC World Service is of two minds (so far) on the Muslim Brotherhood:

On Monday they are Pious social workers, on Tuesday, the New Jerusalem for the next generation of useful idiots.


Tom Wright and Siobhan Gorman in the WSJ, "Pakistan Says Militants Surpass India as Threat".

“The assessment, a regular review of national security, allocates a two-thirds likelihood of a major threat to the state coming from militants rather than from India or elsewhere. It is the first time since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947 that India hasn't been viewed as the top threat. Decades into one of the most bitter neighborly rivalries in modern history, both countries maintain huge troop deployments along their Himalayan border.”


Let we forget, the Stanley Cup on tour.


Mike Hale in the NYT, "A Big Star Transforms Into a Small Moon for a Season".

“No less an authority than Mr. Jordan’s manager in Birmingham, Terry Francona — who would go on to win two World Series with the Boston Red Sox — testifies to his achievement, even while he carried a .202 batting average. ‘I thought it was unbelievable he was doing what he was doing,’ Mr. Francona says, ‘because it’s not easy.’ And Mr. Jordan, playing against some of the toughest competition in the minor leagues, didn’t just hit .202. As a 31-year-old rookie with no professional experience, he drove in 51 runs, stole 30 bases and had 7 game-winning hits. Over the course of one season of 127 games, he became a legitimate baseball player. Mr. Shelton shows us that in its minor way, that was as impressive an accomplishment as anything Mr. Jordan did on the basketball court.”

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• The New Vulgate
• Joe Carducci, Chris Collins, James Fotopoulos, Mike Vann Gray, David Lightbourne
• Copyright retained by the writer, artist, or photographer

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